An Hour With Google's First Chrome OS Netbook

Chrome Laptop

Photo: Gizmodo

The Chrome Cr-48 netbook might just be a reference design—as in, most folks won’t ever be able to use it—but it is what Google thinks a Chrome laptop should be. And it has some pretty nice touches.Click here for a gallery of the computer →

Here are some quick impressions on the hardware and software that we gleaned from about an hour’s worth of usage.


  • Plain matte finish both inside and outside the lid feels nice—the antithesis of shiny MacBooks
  • The trackpad really does not like having two fingers on it at once. It’s not multitouch, but you can use two fingers for right clicking.
  • Window switching with Alt+Tab is fast, and feels like switching workspaces (Spaces on OS X)
  • Fairly light and fairly thin
  • The keyboard keys are separated like MacBook and Envy, so I’m definitely used to typing on it
  • No function keys, instead, you have actually web-useful keys like back, forward, reload, fullscreen, next window and several standard laptop keys
  • Shutdown and resume really is almost instant
  • The screen doesn’t get incredibly bright, but it gets bright enough for indoor use
  • Gmail calling works! It’s only slightly laggy, and I sound like I’m in a closet, but otherwise, it works

No Likey

  • It’s definitely still a netbook—there’s an Atom processor inside—so heavy duty computing is out of the question
  • YouTube is limited to 480p, even on 1080p videos. There’s just no option to select the higher quality
  • Hulu is choppy, but it’s not unwatchable
  • Gmail noticeably is slower than on a MacBook Pro
  • There’s only one USB port

We know you want to read more about the new netbook...

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